Photo: Katherine Abraham

A New Year by any other name: Diversity marks South Asian cultural identity

Designating it as a ‘Hindu’ New Year appears to be part of an ongoing attempt to homogenise our diversity and multiple, multicultural identities. 

A security crisis looms in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts: Need for coordinated regional action

It is critical to formulate a comprehensive strategy that involves both Bangladesh and India to counteract the potential threats posed by external actors in the CHT. This strategy should take into account the historical grievances and aspirations of the ethnic communities

The subcontinental dilemma: Should petty politics trump business pragmatism in South Asia?

After all, If India can do more than $100 billion worth of business with China, with which it is now involved in a far more complex border dispute and naval rivalry, then we can at least do business with our next-door neighbours and let consumers have a greater choice.

For a few dollars more: Sri Lankan fighters in the Russian-Ukrainian war are symptoms of a deeper crisis

A report submitted by the State Intelligence Service ( SIS) of Sri Lanka to the country’s defence secretary indicates there are hundreds of Sri Lankan nationals serving on both Russian and Ukrainian fronts.

More on Spotlight

The untold story of electric rickshaws in India

Even today the situation is no different. Most of the manufacturers make the rickshaw bodies here and fit them with imported motors, etc. from China.  This is how e-rickshaw manufacturing has proliferated in India.

The inverted world of global espionage– where no one talks the walk

There is an interesting development of note in the US, which casts a shadow on free speech and political asylum in the Western world, with a direct bearing on the alleged covert intelligence operations by India in the North American continent. 

Bangladesh's elections will impact regional security and connectivity

The upcoming election will also define Bangladesh’s relations with great powers, namely the USA, India, and China

Water security in South Asia: Need for ratification of UN water convention

No other country in the world comes close to the hydro-hegemony that China has established. From Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to Myanmar’s troubled Kachin and Shan states, China has widened its dam building to disputed or insurgency-torn areas despite local opposition.

Nuclear power is the future for Pakistan

Germany's experience with nuclear energy serves as a valuable lesson, prompting Pakistan to intensify its pursuit of nuclear energy as a practical avenue for its energy needs

Chronic water scarcity in South Asia increasing children’s vulnerability

In 2022, an overwhelming 45 million children lacked access to basic drinking water services in South Asia, according to UNICEF

The pre-emptive Hamas assault on Israel has a bitter lesson for India

With the LoC and now even LAC active around the year conventional artillery might be supplemented with Hamas-type rockets, both by China and Pakistan, Pakistan in particular. India's vital military establishments and civilian targets are right across the LoC and vulnerable to such strikes. A few jihadis from Pakistan have already threatened India with a similar strike.

War and environment: Cutting carbon footprints of militaries to save ailing climate

In Afghanistan, in addition to emitting millions of tons of carbon dioxide during the conflict, the US military footprint contributed more directly to the immediate destruction of the Afghan environment.

In a changing world order, international relations will be more issue-based than bloc-based

In a multipolar world, the relationships will be defined by the requirements in each separate space like security, economy, etc rather than gravitating wholesome to defined blocs.

Israel bans Lashkar-e-Taiba: Time for concerted global action

With the Hamas attack on the Israeli music festival on October 7, it is no surprise that Israel, after years of not acting against the LeT, took action this year. It is possible that this gesture was initiated to garner support from India, which could eventually lead to India banning Hamas as well.

Hopes and expectations from COP28: The world is at a tipping point on climate change

What happens in COP28 on Dubai’s climate conference battleground in the first half of December 2023 may not result in bloodshed but its consequences could be drenched in blood, mass migration, and starvation.

Sri Lanka's emerging mall cities: Urban spaces where modernity and tradition intersect

The evolution of mall cities in Sri Lanka represents a complex and multidimensional transformation that intertwines economic, technological, environmental, and social dimensions. 

Himalayan tunnel collapse raises many questions: Was this a manmade disaster?

Why then after 18 years we have had to get foreign help and equipment for the Silkyara tunnel rescue? Should this equipment and capability not be with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)? 

US’s flagrant double standards in dealing with anti-India terrorism

Both Ottawa and Washington have historically been rather lackadaisical, if not downright conniving, in their dealing with India’s decades-long attempts to act against the Khalistan movement’s violent underpinnings in the two countries.  

Sri Lanka's hi-tea culture: A new marker of class signalling in the digital era

Overall, whether one opts for the casual charm of hi-tea platters or the indulgent variety of hi-tea buffets, Sri Lanka's hi-tea culture seamlessly blends British colonial influences with local traditions, adding a unique and culturally rich touch to this eating-out experience.